Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Turtle Walk Tuesday

This morning, the humidity seemed very high, and there was no breeze at all. I was afraid it was going to be one of those turtle walks that makes you feel like you might melt into a puddle in the sand. And of course without any breeze, I always have a fear the noseeums might eat me alive.

After arriving at the Buttonwood Lane beach access,just before sunrise, I was met by a chorus of tree frogs singing. This is the first time I've heard them in that particular place. It was really kind of comical and got me started off with a smile.

After walking to the end of the boardwalk, I was happy to feel a nice sea breeze from the southeast. The temperature was near 80, but it didn't feel too warm until a few minutes before finishing the walk.

The approaching sunrise was making a pretty pink reflection on the water in a tidal pool, as two fishermen standing in waist deep water, were busy trying to make a great catch.

I'll have to say, I was amazed to see only one new hole in the sand today. It was a little over a foot deep.

I was surprised to spy an octopus trying to crawl back into the water. :-) Especially a pink one.

There were some small shells ,but mostly small white arks.

Best viewed in HD on YouTube by clicking on screen below.

I saw this small juvenile horse conch as I was walking, and that made it a 'Good Day', of course.

My plastic grocery bag was getting full of small pieces of plastic, paper, straws, cups, plastic water bottles, a pair of flip flops that were mostly buried in the sand, a beer can full of sand, a broken sand toy, and the prize of the day.....a stuffed pamper. On the way back there was another bag full.

There was one more little horse conch! Woo~Hoo!

I've mentioned Sanibel's Snowy Plovers before. The snowy plover is a state-listed, threatened species. The SCCF is working to preserve an important nesting population of Southeastern Snowy Plovers with a monitoring program here on the island.

The stakes around the nesting areas in our zone have now been taken down. I noticed last week, that all of the Plovers in our zone seem to be hanging out together. They had been in separate little family groups of the parents and their babies. I tried to count them, but they scamper around so fast, making that difficult. My count was l6, so it's safe to say there was just under 20. One of them has only one leg and I always watch for it. :-) It is on record as nesting here during a previous year. So, it seems that it is not an easy catch for a predator. I watched it hop along on one leg, for quite a while and it kept up with the others pretty well. When it seemed to be having a little trouble, it would flap it's wings to help. I tried to get a photo, but it doesn't show up very well.
A long tidal pool was full of water.

The water had made a trench almost a foot deep, from the pool, back to the Gulf. There was a strong, stream of water running through it, moving sand and shells along the way.

At the speed the water was moving, it shouldn't take long to drain the pool.

I had to laugh when I started hearing the frog noises again, just before reaching the Buttonwood board walk again.

The frog chorus seemed to be rehearsing in the Sea Hibiscus. :-)

It was a pleasant beach walk, but there was no sea turtle activity to report.

A nest that was dug a few days ago, produced 17 baby Loggerheads. We went to the beach that night, to watch them as they were released. Our St Louis visitors had just got to the island that day and they were happy to be a part of their send-off. It was the first time they had seen sea turtle hatchlings.


Anonymous said...

Tootie - I am a frequent Sanibel visitor and stumbled upon your blog. I have enjoyed reading your updates and I have a question. In the main picture of your blog, there is a woman walking on the beach, is that you or do you know her?

Thank you,

Springfield, IL

Caroline said...

I have a small horse conch sitting on my kitchen windowsill, a reminder of a sunrise walk on Sanibel from 2 years ago. I sure am enjoying your turtle walks, as are my kids who live in Minnesota, a reminder of a fun family vacation.